Food and Nutrition Security Endline Evaluation Report (June 2017 to April 2018) - PUI
|Post date||Tuesday, 12 February, 2019 - 14:00|
|Document Type||Evaluation Report|
|Content Themes||Nutrition, Food Assistance, Food Security|
The project under assessment Supporting Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Vulnerable Host Communities to Improve Food and Nutrition Security in Borno and Yobe States, Nigeria was implemented by a Consortium of three International INGOs; Premiere Urgence Internationale (PUI), COOPI and ZOA in Borno and Yobe States between June 2017 and April 2018. Funded by Food for Peace through OFDA, the project targeted to reach a total of 9,657 HH through food assistance using e-vouchers and community sensitization on nutrition. With the project ending in April 2018, Regional Development Consultants (RDC) was commissioned to undertake an end line evaluation. From the findings, the evaluation team concluded as below:
The project has had a positive impact on household food security comparing project indicators data collected at baseline, PDMs and the final evaluation. Both qualitative and quantitative data affirm this observation. However, the project would have done better on food security indicators particularly FCS had the level of sharing been reduced.
- The nutrition component did a great job on both EBF, but was not very influential on beneficiary food purchase patterns at the vendor’s store given the level of sharing reported across the project area.
- The project coordination was found to have worked well during the implementation period. The evaluators believe the consortium could have negotiated for a single contract with the e-voucher service provider – hence value for money.
- The two project sites (Borno and Yobe) are not homogenous. The evaluation reveals that beneficiaries in Yobe state are less vulnerable compared to their Borno counterparts. This observation justifies the need to embrace resilience building in protracted crisis especially in Yobe where communities have fair access to farmland and livestock keeping compared to their Borno counterparts.
- The project design was appropriate as it addressed the prioritized needs of the local communities. With an exception of Yobe state, the integration of nutrition into the food assistance component was found limited or none existent in Borno. With PLWs under the nutrition component not deliberately targeted for the food assistance and assuming the broad vulnerability across the project area, the food assistance component was unlikely to attain nutrition outcomes. The evaluators strongly recommend for the targeting of PLWs from the start.
- The use of technology was found appropriate to the context. In addition to the positive attributes including beneficiary dignity enhancement, safety, security, injection of capital into the local economy, the evaluation team felt that there are grey areas of interest to future programming including the use of multiple wallets (including e-voucher, and unconditional cash) to minimize on the risk of food sharing or sale. In addition, it would be interesting to see how having an additional UCT wallet for the same beneficiaries will impact on practices such as food sale. Principally, the use of technology had enhanced the project’s ability (efficiency)to deliver food assistance to the affected people.
- Project strategies were found effective but selected interventions would require additional complimentary activities or follow up programme to build on the achievements of FFP project and maximize impact. For instance, the positive reception of the family planning component under the IYCF by female beneficiaries would not yield much in exclusion of the male counterparts yet regarded as extremely relevant by 98% of female respondents.
- The project was generally found efficient although there were few cases where efficiency was reduced due to operation delays including vendor payments. The IYFC component was found the most efficient given the achievements it had made with minimal resources. Where cooking demonstrations were included, the nutrition indicators were evidently achieved.
- The evaluation mapped out two project outcomes with potential to sustain post the project period. The IYCF component given the community participation (strongly owned by female beneficiaries and achieved much with less resources). The lead mothers will continue to be IYCF knowledge contact points even post the period.
- The project did a good job in addressing gender mainstreaming in the CRM committees but could have done a better job by inclusion of male participants into the IYCF component as some of the access and control dynamics rested with the male. For instance, food purchase was reported as typically a male activity meaning that households would benefit from the men’s IYFC knowledge post the project food transfers.
Based on the conclusions made above, the following recommendations can be made;
- For better impact, future projects of similar nature should ensure that complimentary activities that are critical to achievement of impact of core project interventions should be prioritized. A clear case here being the cooking demonstrations as part of the IYCF training.
- Project design should be well grounded on adequate needs analysis to capture complimentary needs and local attitudes. Family planning was found to have both religious and cultural dimensions that would have an impact on the project success.
- To enhance project efficiency, future intervention of a similar nature should rethink potential to negotiate with service providers as a consortium rather separately as implementing partners. This is likely to have an impact on the value for money.
- For better results on nutrition outcomes, interventions of a similar nature would need to rethink the project food security – nutrition integration design. An entry point would be deliberate targeting of PLWs under the nutrition component for food assistance.
- Future intervention of this nature would have better results if they are designed with a shock responsive safety net thinking in place. Although market prices were stable across the project period, the project had not build in a crisis modification component for eventual vertical expansion (transfer value adjustment) in the event of market disruptions.
- The targeting process had registered at least 80% of the households in the project area. This is a value universal beneficiary register that future interventions should explore to use for horizontal expansion (reaching more beneficiaries) during lean seasons or if the caseload for people in need of humanitarian assistance goes up during an ongoing intervention.
- For better results, future projects of a similar nature should minimize on the level of food sharing either through scale up (reaching more vulnerable households) or through creation of multiple wallets depending on the market functionality.
- Beneficiaries that were reported to have sold part of their food ratio, or colluded with vendors did so in search of cash to purchase non-food items. Partitioning the current wallets into an e-voucher and cash is highly recommended. In Yobe for instance, beneficiaries incurred a minimum of NGN 1000 transport cost to access their food ratios.
- For better results, future projects of a similar nature need to fully embrace a combination of community based targeting and vulnerability based targeting. The project evaluation assessed the beneficiaries to have mastered the targeting criteria meaning that any future targeting process will be compromised.